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Landry’s State Am run ends in Round of 16

When rain stopped play in Thursday’s Round of 16 at the State Amateur Golf Championship, Bob Landry of Loudon Country Club and Brett Wilson were all even after 14 holes. It was the second delay of the match, which had to be resumed early yesterday morning at The Golf Club of New England in Stratham.

It might have taken a long time for the pair to reach the 15th tee, but it didn’t take long for Wilson, the No. 18 seed playing on his home course, to edge in front of No. 31 Landry once they got there. Wilson was able to get up-and-down on both 15 and 16 for par, but Landry couldn’t match and fell behind by two holes. And after they both parred 17, Wilson had a 2-and-1 victory and spot in the quarterfinals.

Despite the loss, Landry was upbeat after the match. It was, after all, the first time he had ever reached the Round of 16.

“I think I’ve lost (in the Round of 32) eight times, so it was nice to finally get this far,” he said.

Wilson, who won his third Seacoast Amateur Championship last month, didn’t get any farther than the quarterfinals. He lost there to the No. 26 seed, Michael Martel of Crotched Mountain Golf Club & Resort, 2 and 1, and Martel then beat defending champion Joe Leavitt of Atkinson Resort & Country Club, 6 and 5, to advance to today’s final against No. 24 Chris Rivard of Candia Woods Golf Links. Rivard beat Ryan Tombs of Manchester Country Club in the quarterfinals, 3 and 2, before taking down two-time champion Craig Steckowych of the Portsmouth Country Club, 2 and 1, in the semifinals.

Landry and Wilson both hit solid drives on the par-5 15th to start their round yesterday, and then both hit their second shot into the treacherous rough at GCNE. But Landry’s ball was buried while Wilson’s sat up.

“That’s the fun thing about match play, you get one little break here or there and that can be the difference, especially with just four holes,” Landry said.

Wilson also caught a slight break when play was halted on Thursday. All the rain had slowed down the greens, so the advantage he had of knowing the speed of his home course greens was minimized. But yesterday’s sun changed that.

“The speed of the greens got closer to where they usually are, so I think that gave him a little more confidence,” Landry said.

That probably helped Wilson sink a putt on the par-4 16th to win that hole and take the commanding two-hole lead with just two to play. Landry did find par on the next hole, the 150-yard par-3 17th, but Wilson avoided any mistakes to claim the win.

Still, Landry was feeling good about reaching the Round of 16 for the first time, and he was appreciative of playing on the beautiful course in Stratham.

“They really did a great job with that course,” Landry said. “I was really impressed with how they put it together and I thought they just did a great job, along with the New Hampshire Golf Association, especially with all the rain we had.”

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